Essential Oils and Menopause: Beat the Symptoms
There is no cure for menopause. Menopause is a normal part of life. Unfortunately, it can be hard to go through for some women. There are a number of prescription and over-the-counter treatments for the symptoms of menopause. A lot of these treatments have side effects or can cause life threatening illnesses.
However, when it comes to essential oils and menopause, you will be getting a more natural form of alternative medicine. There are no health risks associated with them like there are with some hormone replacement therapies.
What Causes Menopause?
As you get older, your ovaries start producing less estrogen and progesterone. These hormones regulate menstruation and ovulation.
When the ovaries no longer release an egg every month and menstruation stops for 12 consecutive months, you have reached menopause.
Menopause usually happens when a woman reaches her 40s or 50s. Some women begin menopause early due to surgery such as a hysterectomy or because the ovaries become damaged from chemotherapy or other reasons.
Symptoms of Menopause are Miserable
There are many symptoms of menopause. Some women have only one or two and some have none at all. Symptoms of menopause include:
- Hot flashes and night sweats
- Vaginal dryness.
- Body fatigue
- Dry or thinning hair
- Depression and anxiety
- Reduced sex drive
- Weight gain
Perimenopause, Menopause and Post Menopause
Perimenopause begins seven or as long as 14 years before reaching menopause. In the last 1 to 2 years of perimenopause, the drop in estrogen levels speed up and you start having symptoms.
Menopause is when its been a year since your last period.
Post Menopause is the time after reaching menopause. This is when menopause symptoms start easing up and health risks start rising such as osteoporosis and heart disease.
Possible Dangers of Traditional Treatment
Use of conventional hormone replacement therapy is dependent on the severity of the symptoms. While estrogen replacement therapy can lower osteoporosis, it can also cause health risks such as an increase in strokes or blood clots.
If it’s used in conjunction with progesterone, there is also a higher risk for breast cancer and heart attacks. They can also be hard on the liver and can increase cholesterol.
There are positives for using hormone replacement therapy. If you are dealing with osteoporosis, moderate to severe hot flashes or premature menopause for instance. If used correctly, the benefits of hormone replacement therapy can outweigh the risks.
Wonderful Essential Oils to Ease Symptoms
Essential oils help with menopausal symptoms in a number of ways. The aromatherapy can help with the psychological symptoms such as anxiety, depression and mood swings. Some essential oils are considered photoestrogens because they are similar to sex hormones.
- PEPPERMINT OIL: Progesterone levels drop dramatically after menopause. This can result in weight gain. Diffusing or inhaling essential oils has a positive impact on your mood and appetite. In a study by Dr. Alan Hirsch, research subjects using peppermint oil as an inhalant showed dramatic weight loss.
- GERANIUM OIL: Geranium oil helps menopausal women manage hormone imbalances. It also has anti anxiety and antidepressant properties. Geranium oil is also helpful for dry skin. It can be inhaled or diluted in bath water. It can also be diffused and used topically, 2-4 drops with a carrier oil. In a clinical trial, Geranium oil was shown to reduce depression when use as aromatherapy and for massage.
- CLARY SAGE: Clary sage oil has estrogen-like properties and is used for hormonal imbalances and insomnia. It may also help with depression. Clary sage is also a natural remedy for hot flashes. A study was done showing that when clary sage was inhaled there was a significant cortisol reduction and there was antidepressant-like effects.
- LAVENDER OIL: Lavender oil helps reduce depression. It can also relieve mental stress and is great for insomnia. In a double-blind, cross over clinical trial, lavender aromatherapy was shown to decrease the undesirable effects of menopausal symptoms on their quality of life.
- THYME OIL: Thyme oil has been found to improve progesterone production. This also helps with depression and balances out the hormones. Clinical research has shown that menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, insomnia and fatigue were significantly reduced by using thyme oil.
Now It’s Up To You
You can manage menopause with only using conventional treatments such has hormone replacement therapy, or you can add another more natural option of essential oils that have no side effects and see if they help with your menopausal symptoms.
The choice, of course, is what is best for you. I, myself, will always try a more natural approach first. I believe that if you can do something naturally, try that first.
Have you been through or are going through “the change”? Do you know someone who is going through it? What things have you tried that work the best for you or someone you know? Please share your questions or comments below. I would love to see what you have to say.